Revolution #115, January 13, 2008
Revolution newspaper's Six Month Expansion and $500,000 Fund Drive
Connecting Revolution Newspaper Fund Drive with Professors
A few of us who have been working on Revolution newspaper’s fund drive went out to an elite university in our area. We needed to break out of the narrow circle of people we had contacted so far for the fund drive. We contacted professors who had signed a public statement opposing some of the crimes of the Bush regime. We also visited profs we knew and professors we saw who were simply in their offices.
Our approach, based on the Revolution fundraising broadsheet, was to highlight what time it is right now and what it would mean to make a tremendous leap to get this paper out in society. We used examples to give the professors a sense of why this paper is so important and unique, especially the Jena articles in #111 and #112 and the back page poster, “Attention White People! What is Your Problem?!?”
The fact that the paper was the voice of the RCP opened up the conversation in a very good way around why some, who describe themselves as liberal, would read this paper.
The professors we visited had freshness about them not weighed down by a lot of postmodernist relativism. They may have had a more historical view of things given their age that gave them a sense that what was going on was radically different and that a fascist state was possible.
With one professor who invited us into his office, we gave our short presentation on the fund drive, and asked him how he saw things. He said that he was very concerned about what was happening. He said that he had opposed the Bush regime because the things that they had been doing were horrific—the war, the lies, and torture.
He had a strong sense that this was a historic moment. Things were very bad and he was not optimistic. He did hold out some hope for the Democrats, even while he did think that there was a real chance of an invasion of Iran and that the Democrats were not doing anything. We talked about the attacks on science which he is acutely aware of. He agreed that this was not only affecting the university but that public education in general was at threat. He knew that only about 50% of the people in the country believed in evolution and felt it was outrageous and dangerous. He was also concerned about the religiosity of the Bush administration and the rise of fundamentalism and was interested in our assessment of that. He was interested in the Skybreak book. At the end of the discussion, the professor said he would think about it further. We plan to come back regularly and make sure he gets Revolution.
Another professor we found donated several hundred dollars on the spot. When we introduced ourselves, it turned out that he was familiar with the RCP and paper going back to the ’60s. He was familiar with writings by Bob Avakian and with Larry Everest, whom he said he had seen at the Bush Crimes Commission tour. This professor was very concerned about what the Bush regime was doing and had a tremendous comprehensive knowledge about many different arenas of struggle. He had been following Jena and was impressed by our coverage. We talked about the attacks on academic freedom and on science generally and showed him the pullout from the Katrina issue. He was very aware of this—he knew about IFAW [“Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”] and mentioned the battle in the APA [American Psychological Association] and in anthropology and talked about how ways that the authorities are trying to intimidate professors.
He was concerned about global warming and the war and had a strong sense that this must be opposed. He had a sense that masses needed to be in motion like in the ’60s. He spoke repeatedly about how he wanted to see the students much more active.
We pointed out how much difference it would make with the paper everywhere with its exposures and helping to organize students to actually confront the outrages, and pointing the way to a radically different world. He really liked that vision. We talked about the various projects which would help make the paper able to have much greater reach—Revolution Reporters Fund and Expanding the Circulation of Revolution. He said that he would be able to give a few hundred dollars on the spot and would like a subscription.
We are taking this approach to a much broader group of professors beginning tomorrow, trying to catch people before they leave for the holidays, and then continuing in January.
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